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Mumintrollen #5

Moominsummer Madness

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When a flood sweeps through the valley, the Moomins must find a new house. And with typical Moomin good luck, one just happens to be floating by. It looks normal enough, but there are curtains where one wall should be, strange rows of lights, and other odd amenities. Then Moomintroll and the Snork Maiden disappear, and the family realize that the house may hold the answers to more than they ever dreamed.

192 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1954

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About the author

Tove Jansson

696 books3,033 followers
Tove Jansson was born and died in Helsinki, Finland. As a Finnish citizen whose mother tongue was Swedish, she was part of the Swedish-speaking Finns minority. Thus, all her books were originally written in Swedish.

Although known first and foremost as an author, Tove Jansson considered her careers as author and painter to be of equal importance.

Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated her first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), during World War II. She said later that the war had depressed her, and she had wanted to write something naive and innocent. Besides the Moomin novels and short stories, Tove Jansson also wrote and illustrated four original and highly popular picture books.

Jansson's Moomin books have been translated into 33 languages.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 560 reviews
Profile Image for Katie.
73 reviews34 followers
April 30, 2008
When life gives you lemons, find an abandoned floating theater and make your absurdist masterpiece.
Profile Image for Stephen Curran.
Author 1 book23 followers
May 26, 2015
Take all the self help manuals and holy books in the world, chuck them off a cliff, and replace them with this. The Moomins hold the key to a happy life. Volcanos? Great floods? Natural devastation? Separated families? To the Groke with them! Let's all light a lamp and have some marmalade with our tea!
Profile Image for Mir.
4,839 reviews5,002 followers
August 17, 2014
Tove Jansson is really kind of amazing.

This is only the second books of hers I've read, the other being The Summer Book. I was impressed then by the subtlety of her writing and her nuanced depiction of complex, contradictory human beings, but I wasn't entirely surprised -- it was an adult book, written about people Jansson knew well personally. I was not expecting a short children's book about cute made up creatures to display the same level of insights into human nature and behavior. But it totally does. It's not heavy-handed; if you're a small child mostly interested in the fun adventures of Moomins you can totally read it just for that. You won't be slapped in the face by the fact that people are sometimes needless cruel, or unhappy for no good reason, misunderstand one another, hate themselves... But they do. They do. Even if they are cuddly trolls.
Profile Image for Martin.
327 reviews135 followers
February 14, 2020
The Moomin family wild adventures starting with a volcano and a flood which separates them - for a while


Why do volcanoes annoy us so?
Moominmamma rose with a sigh.
‘So very annoying, this volcano,’ she remarked.
‘Volcano?’ asked Little My, and thrust an interested head out of the wool.
‘Yes, it’s a mountain not so very far from here, and all of a sudden it’s begun spitting fire and smoke over the whole valley,’ explained Moominmamma. ‘And soot. It’s always kept quiet and good ever since I married. And now, after all these years, exactly when I’ve finished my washing, it has to sneeze once again and blacken all the things I hang out.’
‘Everybody’s burning up!’ shouted Little My happily, ‘And everybody’s houses and gardens and playthings and little sisters and their playthings!’
‘Fiddlesticks,’ said Moominmamma genially and whisked away another speck of soot from her snout.


Is the flood going to take them all to heaven?
It was at that moment they heard the great rumble.
It came rolling up from across the sea, first low and mumbling, then growing stronger and stronger.
In the fair night they could see something enormous rise high over the tree-tops of the forest, like a great wall that grew and grew with a white and foaming crest.
‘I suppose we’d better go into the drawing-room now,’ said Moominmamma.
They had no more than got their tails inside the door when the flood wave came crashing through the Moomin Valley and drenched everything in darkness. The house rocked slightly but didn’t lose its foothold. It was soundly built and a very good house. But after a while the drawing-room furniture began to float around. The family then moved upstairs and sat down to wait for the storm to blow over.
‘I haven’t seen such weather since my young days,’ said Moominpappa brightly and lit a candle.
Outside the night was in full uproar, cracking and banging things about and thumping heavy waves against the shutters.
Moominmamma absentmindedly seated herself in the rocking-chair and set it slowly rocking.
‘Is this the end of the world?’ Little My asked curiously.
‘That’s the very least,’ replied the Mymble’s daughter. ‘Try to be good now if you can find the time, because in a little while we’re all going to heaven.’
‘Heaven?’ asked Little My. ‘Do we have to? And how does one get down again?’


At last everyone could understand the play
The spectators now saw the Mymble’s daughter lifting Little My in her arms and getting kissed on the nose, and they noticed that nobody spoke in blank verse any longer, but quite naturally. This met with general approval, because now it was finally possible to understand what the play was about.
It was about someone who had floated away from home, and had awful experiences, and now found her way home again. And everybody was marvellously happy and going to have a cup of tea.
‘They’re playing a lot better now, I think,’ said the Hemulen.
Snufkin began to hoist all his woodies up on to the stage. ‘Hello, Moominmamma!’ he cried happily. ‘Can you take care of these for me?’
The play became funnier and funnier. By and by, the whole of the audience came climbing up on the stage and took part in the plot by beginning to eat the entrance fees that were laid out on the drawing-room table. Moominmamma freed herself from the troublesome skirts and rushed to and fro serving out teacups.
The band started on the Hemulic Triumphal March.
Moominpappa was radiant with the great success, and Misabel was every bit as happy as at the dress rehearsal.
Suddenly Moominmamma stopped in the middle of the stage and dropped a teacup to the floor.
‘Here he comes,’ she whispered, and everybody became silent.
Out in the dark a faint sound of oars came nearer. A clear little bell was tinkling.
‘Mother!’ somebody was shouting. ‘Father! I’m coming home!’
‘Indeed,’ said the Hemulen. ‘My own prisoners! Catch them at once before they burn the theatre down!’
Moominmamma rushed up to the footlights. She saw Moomintroll lose hold of one of his oars when he was about to lay to. Confusedly he tried to pull with the remaining one, but his boat only spun round on the spot. In the stern sat a thin little Hemulen with a kind sort of face and shouting something nobody took any notice of.
‘Flee!’ cried Moominmamma. ‘The police are here!’
She didn’t know what her Moomintroll had done, but she was convinced that she approved of it.

Moominmamma has absolute faith in her extended family surviving any disasters and that they will always be together.
A Happily Ever After ending!


Profile Image for Inese Okonova.
425 reviews46 followers
April 14, 2021
Par zīlēšanu Jāņu naktī:
- Vispirms jāapiet septiņi apļi pašai ap sevi, klusi dudinot un dauzot kājām zemi. Pēc tam atmuguriski jāaiziet līdz akai un jāieskatās tajā. Tad ūdenī varēs ieraudzīt, ar ko būs jāprecas!
- Un kā viņu lai dabū ārā no turienes? - Svilpaste satraukta jautāja.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,132 reviews1,317 followers
October 5, 2021
There's something delightfully charming about these White Finnish Hippopotamus like creatures, there laidback nature is certainly something to inspire too.

Even despite Mooninvalley being flooded, the family find refuge in another floating building.
Once they learn that their current residency is a actually a theatre, the only sensible thing to do is to put on a show!

Both the simple story with a humorous take on the arts, whilst the delightful illustrations add an extra charm.
Fun and enduring, it's easy to see why these stories have such longlasting appeal for both young and old.
Profile Image for Lena.
544 reviews
June 23, 2018
Underbart att höra Tove Jansson själv läsa!
Profile Image for Martyna Antonina.
242 reviews74 followers
September 7, 2022

Kocham świat Muminków za ten wyjątkowy wymiar czułości, jaki w sobie gromadzi. No i oczywiście za niejednoznaczną wielowymiarowość i wielokształtność postaci, która wykracza poza schematy standardowej literatury dziecięcej.
Profile Image for Austra.
601 reviews72 followers
March 14, 2022
Stāsti par trollīšiem Muminiem ir mana bērnība - mamma tos man lasīja priekšā no žurnāla Murzilka un tulkoja. No šī stāsta es neatceros tieši nevienu vārdu, bet perfekti atceros bildi, kurā trollītis Mumins nirst augšā no ēdamistabas ar krūzītēm un kafijas kannu. Iespējams, tolaik man šis stāsts ar milzu plūdiem šķita pārāk satraucošs. Ar šodienas acīm es to, protams, vērtēju citādi un sajūsminos par ģeniālo Muminu ģimeni, kas tā pa īstam neko daudz neņem galvā. Atnāk cunami un pārplūst visa māja? Nekas, ir iespēja saskaldīt malkā visnemīļāko krēslu, lai uzvārītu kafiju. Un lai ko Muminbērns būtu pastrādājis tādu, ka viņu vajā policija, Muminmāmiņa zina, ka viņai tas pastrādātais patiktu.

- Vai tu patiešām tik briesmīgi sēro pēc viņiem? - Bailulis līdzcietīgi jautāja.
- Nē, tikai mazdrusciņ, - Misa atbildēja. - Taču es izmantoju gadījumu un raudu par visu, ja nu man reiz ir iemesls.
Profile Image for Spencer Orey.
524 reviews117 followers
February 8, 2021
Another fun Moomin book.

Disaster befalls Moomin Valley, and everyone is totally chill about it. These books are awesome. The family finds a floating theater and has to figure out what a theater is and how to put on a play. The play is hilarious.

There's a part where Moomintroll ends up in jail. I've been waiting for something bad and dated like this to happen in the series. It was a gentle jail experience, but it's striking how jail was just this normal thing in kids books so long ago. Terrible, really. Luckily, he gets out pretty quick and it makes for some good adventures overall. I understand the larger rule bound role of the Hemulens and have laughed at them a lot. But it would be a better book without jail or the threat of the Hemulic police.

Anyway it was a great installment overall. My kid is excited to keep going.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,065 reviews104 followers
October 11, 2021

Well, I have now tried intensely perusing the three English language translators of Tove Jansson’s Moomin novels, Elizabeth Portch, Thomas Warburton and David McDuff (but no, I have not yet read all of the Warburton translations). And definitely and in my humble opinion, compared to the German language renderings of Jansson’s Moomin novels I have read to date, both Vivian and Karl Bandler’s translations from the 1970s and Birgitta Kicherer more recent ones are to and for me with regard to in particular stylistics absolutely vastly superior to both Elizabeth Portch and Thomas Warburton (but yes, with David McDuff’s recent 2006 translation of the first Moomin novel feeling just a trifle less stylistically problematic). For sorry, but I have been finding especially the narrational flow and rhythm of both Portch’s and Warburton’s renderings of Tove Jansson’s stories generally and first and foremost tediously dragging and never really all that much engaging, and this even when the presented contents and themes are or at least should be my personal reading interest retaining (and so much so that while I have never had issues with finishing the German translations of the Moomin novels, I have had to resort to skimming for each and every Moomin novel I have thus far read and encountered in the English translations penned by Elizabeth Portch and Thomas Warburton).

Because while for example, the contents and thematics of both Comet in Moominland (where the translator is Elizabeth Portch) and the novel I have just been reading, Moominsummer Madness (where the translator is Thomas Warburton) are delightful, fun, often thought provoking, affirmative and cheering, and that I do very much both appreciate and very much enjoy how Tove Jansson has her Moomins (and in particular Moominpappa and Moominmamma) always try to make the best of things even when there are potential disasters approaching, such as the comet in Comet in Moominland and that volcano and devastating flooding in Moominsummer Madness, for me, the narrative style of both Elizabeth Portch and Thomas Warburton as translators really does nothing except to bore and frustrate me. And considering that I have never felt this narrational-based tedium with the German Moomin novels translations, yes, I do think that my reading issues with the Moomin books in English are absolutely not at all with how Tove Jansson has written her Moomin novels but wholly and utterly with how they have been rendered into English (and by two different translators at that).

Therefore, while I definitely have enjoyed Moominsummer Madness (which original Swedish title is Farlig midsommar and was first published in 1954) with regard to Tove Jansson’s contents and her themes, my general ranking will only be three stars, as no, I really and truly do not find Thomas Warburton’s translation all that enjoyable and engaging (and so much so that indeed, if you read German, I would definitely try Sturm im Mumintal instead of Moominsummer Madness as Birgitta Kicherer’s text is flowing and fun, while Thomas Warburton’s rendering of Tove Jansson is style and narrational cadence wise really tedious, dragging on and on).
Profile Image for Paul.
2,306 reviews20 followers
December 31, 2020
Another lovely Moomins book in which the Moomins are forced to leave their happy valley when a volcanic eruption causes a huge flood.

The only thing I don’t like about these books is that characters are constantly disappearing between books with absolutely no explanation! Where did Sniff, the Hemulen, the Snork and the Muskrat go between the last book and this one?

Anyway, that’s it for me, reading-wise, this year, as this is my last book of 2020. Happy New Year, all!
Profile Image for Kinga (Imbirowa o książkach).
1,028 reviews91 followers
August 30, 2018
"Wróci słońce - myślał Muminek, podniecony. - Koniec z ciemnościami, koniec z samotnością. Będzie można usiąść sobie na werandzie i pogrzać plecy... ."

Moim zdaniem najsłabsza z dotychczas przeczytanych przeze mnie książek z tej serii.

Wiadomo jednak, Muminki to Muminki.
Profile Image for Laura.
173 reviews
May 21, 2009
I've liked all Moomin books this far, but somehow this one appealed to me even more than usual. The writing style and the atmosphere of the story are exactly as magical as they should be on a Midsummer night, and despite the rather absurd and adventurous happenings the book left me with a very peaceful mood. There's almost something Shakespearean in this, even though there are no fairies. The play within the story is hilarious, and the whole theatre thing just made me laugh so much. I also fangirl Snufkin and this book shows some sides of his personality very well.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,606 followers
July 2, 2019
So awesome! Moominvalley floods, and they take shelter in what was actually a theatre that had drifted by. Some truly charming and hilarious moments.

Reread 2019: Truly one of the weirder of the Moomin books, and that's saying quite a lot!
Profile Image for Chris.
730 reviews99 followers
January 30, 2022
‘A theatre is the most important sort of house in the world, because that’s where people are shown what they could be if they wanted, and what they’d like to be if they dared to, and what they really are.”
— Emma, in Chapter 8

It is almost midsummer in Moomin Valley when flakes of ashy soot start falling about the Moomin house. A nearby volcano is erupting, accompanied by cracks in the ground, and soon creates a tsunami, with the sea invading their home. When a strange new house comes floating by their dwelling the Moomin family — Moominmamma, Moominpapa, Moomintroll — along with the Snork Maiden, the Mymble’s daughter and her sister Little My, plus castaways Misabel and Whomper all decamp to the apparent houseboat. This will eventually float into Spruce Creek, during which time the mystified passengers will explore what they’ve embarked on.

It soon becomes evident to the reader, if not the Moomin Valley residents, that this is part of a theatre, where both stage and backstage have become separated from the rest of the building. With help from what they at first took to be a ghost they decide to put on a tragic play, but when certain individuals become separated and find themselves in various pickles, it will take a series of lucky coincidences to bring everything to a successful conclusion on Midsummer Day.

But will the Moomins ever get back to their valley?

Reading the Moomin stories out of sequence has so far not proved hugely disadvantageous as it becomes quite easy to slip into each situation and to make the acquaintance of characters both old and new. Often outside events intrude on Moomin Valley — a visitor from outer space in Comet in Moominland, say, or the finding of a magician’s hat in Finn Family Moomintroll — or the valley is faced with an unexpected absence, as in Moominvalley in November. Whatever the scenario Jansson manages to persuade the reader that whatever idiosyncratic personages we meet there will be interactions that are gentle, humorous in a quiet way, logical in terms of reaching outcomes, and coincidences which will feel entirely natural and to be expected.

In Moominsummer Madness Jansson’s set piece will be the play The Lion’s Bride, or Blood Will Out. Distantly inspired (it seems to me) by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the one-act tragedy composed in blank verse by Moominpapa will in fact morph into a farce where all will be well that ends well. The thrilling tale of a tragic heroine and a roaring lion will find it’s more than matched by offstage events –escapes and chases, audience participation and friends reunited.

But the secret of the Moomin magic for the reader must surely be in its gloriously diverse cast of characters, all blessed by extraordinary names, attributes and roles, and distinguished by delightfully individual characteristics: Hattifatteners and Hemulens and Fillyjonks and woodies mix with old friends like one of my favourites, Moomintroll’s pal Snufkin:
Snufkin was a calm person who knew an immense lot of things but never talked about them unnecessarily.

Yet even in the height of summer darkness threatens, as the author knew full well:
But still, Moomintroll reflected on his quiet walk along the river. There ARE Grokes and policemen. And abysses to fall in. And it happens that people freeze to death, and blow up in the air, and fall in the sea, and catch herring-bones in their throats, and a lot of other things.

The big world is dangerous where there’s no one to know one and no one to know what one likes and what one’s afraid of.

Moomin Valley is a true microcosm of the world we know, where there’s great delight but also a sense of melancholy. As always the author's own illustrations not only add to the charm but also without being in any way mawkish ensure the valley's inhabitants find their way into one's heart.
Profile Image for Vít Kotačka.
395 reviews78 followers
January 30, 2021
Tohle léto bylo skutečně bláznivé. Považte - výbuch sopky, zaplavené Muminí údolí, rodina žije v plovoucím divadle přineseném povodní a Muminek ve vězení! A nikdo nedokáže čelit těmto katastrofám s větším klidem, než Muminkova maminka. I ty největší protivy pozve ke stolu a pohostí je tím, co zrovna má.

Ačkoliv výše zmíněné nepřízně osudu uvrhnou celé Muminí údolí do chaosu, není to truchlivý příběh, ba naopak - je to snad nejsrandovnější Muminí kniha, která si nezadá s bláznivýma francouzskýma komediema.

Je legrační číst o tom, jak Muminí rodina postupně poznává, že nežije (či spíše nepluje) v opuštěném domě, ale divadle, k čemu slouží opona, propriety, kostýmy a nápovědní budka. A jak se tatínek rozhodne napsat divadelní hru a prožívá tvůrčí muka hodná umělce.

Vážnější tón získává příběh se Sňupálkem. Ten, známý to anarchista, nesnášející zákazy, zdemoluje park - strhá všechny restriktivní cedule a nasadí v parku Hatifnaty. Následkem toho je ovšem neprávem obviněn a uvězněn Muminek se slečnou Ferkou.

Finále je potom spektakulární. Končí premiérou tatínkovi hry a obecenstvo je nadšeno. Ale není to proto, že by hra běžela podle scénáře :-)


Recenze Kometa ★★★★
Recenze Čarodějův kolobouk (TBD) ★★★★★
Recenze Tatínek píše paměti ★★★
Recenze Čarovná zima ★★★★
Recenze Tatínek a moře ★★★★
Recenze Pozdě v listopadu ★★★★
Profile Image for Maiju.
49 reviews2 followers
June 25, 2022
Juhannus seikkailu vailla vertaa.
February 13, 2022
���ისას მუდმივი მელანქოლია, სნუსმუმრიკის მარტოობისკენ მიდრეკილება, აკრძალვებთან ბრძოლა, თავისუფლებისა და თავის დამკვიდრების წადილი, ყველაფერი იდეალურია. პერსონაჟებმა ხომ უკვე დიდი ხანია შემაყვარეს თავი, დედა მუმინის ლმობიერება, სულიერი სიმშვიდე, სიყვარულისა და სითბოს გამოხატვის უნარი განსაკუთრებულად მხიბლავს. მართლა ვეღარ ვძლებ ტუვეს გარეშე, სხვა ავტორის წიგნის კითხვას რომ ვიწყებ, ვგრძნობ, რომ ჩემი მუმი���ების დანაკლისი მაქვს და სხვა ვერაფერი შემივსებს. სნუსმუმრიკის და მუმინტროლის მეგობრობაზე ხომ საერთოდ ვგიჟდები:

“-მუმინტროლ, - მოულოდნელი, უეცარი მონატრებით წარმოთქვა სნუსმუმრიკმა, - გპირდები ჩვენ აუცილებლად გავცურავთ ზღვაში მთვარის შუქზე, შემდეგ კი გამოქვაბულთან დავსხდებით და გათენებამდე ვისაუბრებთ.”

“სნუსმუმრიკი დიდხანს უსვამდა ნიჩბებს, ისე რომ არაფერი უთქვამს. მუმინ���როლი კი ღამის ცის ფონზე მისი ძველი ქუდის ასე ნაცნობ და საყვარელ კონტურს და ჩიბუხიდან გამოტყორცნილი ბოლის ქულებს აკვირდებოდა, რომლებიც ზლაზვნით მიიწევდნენ წინ.
“ამიერიდან ყველაფერი კარგად იქნება” გაიფიქრა მან.”
Profile Image for Bruce Beckham.
Author 30 books402 followers
January 30, 2021
I thought I had read all of the Moomin series, when I discovered this book in a soon-to-be-pulped pile resulting from one of my wife’s ruthless playroom culls.

While it lacks the originality and some of the endearing characters of the earlier classics (such as Comet in Moominland, and Finn Family Moomintroll), it nevertheless offers a heart-warming reminder of the enduring themes of ‘safe jeopardy’ and trusting optimism that underpin Tove Jansson’s brilliantly imaginative works.

The house might be washed away by a volcanic tsunami, the children scattered to the four winds to fend for themselves; but this is not a catastrophe to be mourned, it is an adventure to be savoured!

And its topical message to parents: keep calm and carry on.
Profile Image for Josefin.
60 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2020
Muminläsningen fortgår. Hittills är den här och "Kometen kommer" bäst!
Profile Image for Alba.
53 reviews
August 5, 2021
The most delightful book ever :") What do I have to do for Moominpappa and Moominmamma to adopt me
Profile Image for Paula Bardell-Hedley.
148 reviews73 followers
August 5, 2019
“A theatre is the most important sort of house in the world, because that’s where people are shown what they could be if they wanted, and what they’d like to be if they dared to and what they really are.”
Moominsummer Madness is the fourth title in Tove Jansson’s series of stories about a family of benevolent, philosophical trolls with downy fur and soft round snouts, who reside in a rather unusual house in an attractive woodland valley by the sea.

Moominites tend to consider this book, first published in 1954, the final title in the series written with only children in mind. As with the earlier stories, the scenery is pleasingly verdant, but the setting isn’t specifically Finnish, and the plot is driven by a natural disaster as opposed to internal conflict.

The story begins with a rumbling volcano, raining ash down on Moominmamma’s clean washing, leading to Moominvalley being flooded. The family are forced to leave their beloved home and seek sanctuary on a floating theatre. However, they are deliberately cast adrift during the night, leaving Moomintroll, the Snork Maiden and Little My stranded (on account of them sleeping in a tree). Much Moomin summer madness follows and we are left wondering if they will find each other before taking their final bows.

We are at a point in the series when Jansson knew the characters well and they had become familiar to her readers – she therefore does not attempt any kind of introduction – indeed, there is little need to as her wonderfully idiosyncratic illustrations do the job perfectly. These individuals are often given onomatopoeic names, for example, Whomper, who appears for the first time in this book. He is a serious but kindly little fellow with large, dark eyes and a messy head of hair who wears a black coat and a scarf around his neck, held together with a safety pin. His name is Homsan in Swedish, meaning rush about or do something carelessly, often with unfortunate results. The name suits him well because although he tries hard to comprehend the world around him, he finds it utterly baffling. He does, however, discover his perfect vocation in the theatre.

There is much irony and artful humour in all Jansson’s Moomin books, though never at the expense of her child readers, and Moominsummer Madness is no exception. The characters’ feelings and the difficulties they experience are always of the utmost importance. In fact, it is often the adults in the story who behave irrationally while the young ones are filled with intelligent curiosity and an eagerness to please.

The book captures the mood of summer: the lethargy, the afternoons spent gazing into water, the buzzing of bees and the balmy light nights. In many ways it isn’t dissimilar to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in so much as characters often misconstrue one another’s words and actions and stubbornly continue to be desirous of things they cannot have or achieve. A play is also enacted in which there is a lion.

I found re-reading this tale of Moomin wisdom and shenanigans every bit as charming and bizarre as I did as a child. Jansson’s unpredictable creatures and her anarchic illustrations are still able to captivate and amuse me almost 50 years on.

My copy of the book is a Collector’s Edition Moomin Hardback published in 2018 by Sort of Books, which has been “lovingly restored” to its former striking design. It was translated by Thomas Warburton (1918-2016). Jansson dedicated it to her old-flame and lifelong friend, Vivica Bandler. It originally remained in print for over sixty years, appearing in more than fifty languages.
“Moomin people thank each other not only for tea but after every meal they eat together. They like to feel polite.”
You can read more of my reviews and other literary features at Book Jotter.
Profile Image for Erika.
650 reviews48 followers
June 22, 2018
Passande omläsning en midsommar när regnet vräker ner, blott en vecka efter besöket i Muminmuseet i Tammerfors. Den här var min favorit bland muminböckerna när jag var barn, och är det fortfarande (jämsides med Det osynliga barnet). Har läst om den många gånger och blir fortfarande lika charmerad: av språket, av berättelsen, av humorn och av människokännedomen.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,549 reviews2,537 followers
April 22, 2022
(3.5) One never knows what magic or mischief will bubble up at Midsummer. For Moomintroll’s family, it all starts with the eruption of a volcano, which leads to a flood. Moominmamma does her best to uphold comforting routines in their inundated home, but eventually they leave it for a better-appointed house that floats by. One with thick velvet curtains, doors to nowhere, and cupboards full of dresses. I wearied ever so slightly of the dramatic irony that this is clearly a theatre but the characters don’t know what one is and have to be enlightened by Emma the stage rat. Meanwhile, Snufkin becomes accidental father to two dozen “woodies” and Moomintroll and the Snork Maiden are arrested for burning officious signs.

The teasing commentary on the pretensions of the theatre is sweet: Moominpappa decides to write a tragic play with a lion in; Emma tells him it simply must be in blank verse, so he obliges, but no one in the audience can understand a word until the actors speak normally. As usual with Jansson, there is separation and longing, disaster mitigated, disorientation navigated with pluck or resignation. While I didn’t enjoy this as much as some of her others, I appreciated the focus this time on bending the rules of how things must be done. My favourite quotes were about the overwhelming nature of choice and the value of a good cry:
(The Snork Maiden on the dresses in the costume closet) “They were far too many, don’t you see. I couldn’t ever have had them all or even choose the prettiest. They nearly made me afraid! If there’d been only two instead!”

(Misabel) “I’m taking the chance to have a cry over a lot of things now when there’s a good reason.”

Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.
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